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Man guilty of stashing guns at homes of girlfriends

GUILTY: Sunny Taiwo

A MAN who used several girlfriends’ homes to hide firearms has been found guilty of various firearms offences.

Yesterday (Feb 4), Sunny Taiwo, 34 from Beckton, east London was found guilty of four counts of possession of a prohibited firearm, one count of possession of a firearm without a firearm certificate, three counts of possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life and two counts of possession ammunition without a firearm certificate.

One of Taiwo’s girlfriends, Shereen Lawrence was found guilty of one count of possession of a prohibited firearm.

Taiwo, and 32-year-old Lawrence were given their verdict at Inner London Crown Court, after a trial lasting four weeks. They will be sentenced at the same court on March 3.

Another girlfriend of Taiwo, Leanne Anderson, 26, from Hackney, was sentenced to five years imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court in February last year after officers from Trident’s North East team, executed a firearms warrant at her address.

During the search, police found a Miroku 600 double-barrelled sawn-off shotgun and 84 cartridges in a cupboard in Lawrence’s bedroom.

Officers also found a photo of Sunny Taiwo on her bedside table. She was arrested and subsequently charged with possession of the sawn-off shotgun.

On January 3 last year, Trident officers executed a further firearms warrant at an address in Forest Gate, the home of Merisha Lesforis – another girlfriend of Taiwo.


CONVICTED: Shereen Lawrence

During the search of her property, a 9mm Walther P99S self-loading pistol was discovered in a storage box on top of the wardrobe in her bedroom. She was later arrested and charged with possession of the pistol, however yesterday (Feb 4) a jury found her not guilty of involvement in these offences.

Four days after Lesforis’ property was searched, executed another firearms warrant at the home address of a third girlfriend, Leanne Anderson, in Hackney.

During the search a 9mm Baikal self loading pistol with a silencer and seven rounds of 9mm ammunition were found hidden in the kitchen waste bin.

Anderson was arrested and charged on January 8 2013. She later pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition and is currently serving a five year custodial sentence.

Detective inspector Steve Meechan of the Trident Gang Crime Command, said: “Taiwo wrongly believed that by using his female companions to store various firearms he could evade capture, however police were able to connect him to all four firearms.


JAILED: Leanne Anderson

"By putting their trust in him, two women have now been convicted of serious offences and face lengthy prison sentences.”

During the early hours of the April 12, 2013, a firearms warrant was executed by officers from the MPS Specialist Firearms Unit, supported by the same Trident officers at an address in Mitcham. Inside the premises were Taiwo and a woman who he had only recently met. During the search police discovered a loaded 8mm Rohm RG9 self loading pistol under the bed they were lying on.

Both Taiwo and the woman were arrested with Taiwo subsequently being charged for possession of a firearm. Following extensive enquires this woman was released with no further action, she was completely unaware of Taiwo’s criminality and provided key evidence for prosecution.

In June 2013, Taiwo was further charged with the possession of the firearms and ammunition found at the home addresses of Lawrence, Anderson and the property in Forest Gate.

Head of partnership at Trident Gang Crime Command, Claire Crawley added: “As a girlfriend, relative or friend, women and girls are in danger of serious exploitation and coercion to commit crimes such as carrying weapons or drugs. Some find themselves in situations as a result of exploitation that they are not even aware of until it is too late.

"The [Met]is working closely with partner agencies such as the Safer London Foundation, Princes Trust and many others. There are organisations in London that can offer support to young women at risk of or experiencing sexual exploitation, primarily through gang activity. They support young women by helping them build their self confidence and understand about healthy relationships.”

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